Specializing in Commercial Low-Slope Roofing Systems
Low-slope commercial roofing systems are available in many different materials. Your Professional Roofer can guide you toward the right one for your property.
Commercial Roofing Materials for Low Slopes
TPO: Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) is relatively new to the roofing market. It was created to be a product that was better than ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber roofing, yet cheaper than polyvinyl chloride (PVC). TPO is installed using a hot air welder, which creates bonding at the seams that cannot be penetrated by water. Due to its relatively low investment cost, TPO is used in place of PVC to create the same look and presentation. These low-slope roofs are very durable and often ENERGY STAR®-rated.
Modified Bitumen: Modified bitumen is one of the most common options for low-slope residential roofing. It is comprised of both asphalt and either plastic or rubber polymers creating a hard roofing surface that still retains both flexibility and ultraviolet (UV) resistance. This roofing option is thought of as the next stage in asphalt built-up roofing (BUR). This is because it is also applied in layers, and the number of layers determines the lifespan of the roof. It can be applied two different ways: by using a self-adhering product or with cold-applied adhesive. Either option will ensure that water will not penetrate it, causing costly repairs.
PVC: This is a low-slope/flat roofing product, often used on restaurants or manufacturing plants that have harmful discharge released on or near the roof. The chemical make-up of the PVC allows it to withstand these elements for long periods of time. It is ENERGY STAR-rated.
EPDM: EPDM is often referred to as “rubber roofing.” When installed correctly, it can last a very long time. These roofs have great elasticity for buildings which move a lot during expansion and contraction in hot and cold temperature climates. There are many ways to install this flat roof system: either fully adhering, mechanically attaching or with ballast rock to hold the system down. Repairs are possible on EPDM roofs to help extend the life, depending on the roof condition.
BUR: BUR are asphalt-based roof systems, usually installed by using a tar flood coat and then overlapping felt sheets to “build up” the waterproofing and strength of the roof. This is one of the oldest roofing systems around, but you may still see roofing contractors installing it today. Another way to help protect the BUR roof system is to add gravel into the top coat of tar, embedding and protecting the roof from the elements (also known as a gravel built-up roof). These roofs are repairable depending on how dried out the felts may be. Wall flashing and penetrations are usually the first areas to fail on these types of roofs.
Metal Roofs: There are several different types of metal roofs, from R-panel to standing seam. Oftentimes, these roofs are attached by tens of thousands of screws. Over time, the metal roof moves back and forth with the hot and cold temperatures in the Midwest, causing the screws to back out over time. The neoprene rings on these screws can also dry out and fail over time, allowing water to enter the building. The quality, thickness and size of the metal panels will dictate length of service. Aluminum, copper and steel are most commonly used and are all installed in different variations. Metal roofs are also measured in thickness from 29-gauge (often used for barn metal) all the way up to 24-gauge (used primarily in commercial and industrial applications).
Coatings: There are many different types of roof coating available today, some lasting 10, 15 or even 20 years. These coatings can extend the life of your existing roof, thus eliminating the need for costly roof removal. A coating will be chosen based on the condition of the existing roof, budget and longevity of the new roof installed.
SPF: Spray Foam Roofs (SPF) are low-slope roofing systems installed with a spray rig over the top of your existing roof. Low-rise foam will be sprayed and then expand once it has been disbursed onto the new roof system. After the newly installed foam roof has been installed, a durable roof coating should then be installed to protect the roof from the elements.